Two more Firefly episodes last night. We were only planning on one, but we didn't like the first so much.
"Shindig" (103): In which Mal fights a duel over Inara.
I mentioned, didn't I, that I just didn't find Mal/Inara that interesting? Yeah.
Mal, great. Inara, okay—if it turns out that all she's got is UST for Mal, boring, but there might be more. But put them together and my interest level drops almost to zero. I think it's because his distaste for her profession turns him into an ass, all protective and high-handed and interfering. I've seen nothing to suggest that Inara can't take care of her own honor. And Mal's not even interestingly snarky about it.
I do wonder what happened with Atherton and Inara after the ball. I suspect at least the threat of violence (cf. his post-duel comment about how he should have "uglied her up"), and I'd be interested to know how she handled it.
- Slavery in the Alliance: the slave-traders in the teaser talk about it in public, and Mal doesn't seem to think it's illegal. There's also a reference to slaves getting the snotty girl at the ball into her dress.
- Some good lines during the ball part of the episode, like "Captain Tightpants" and "somewhat less attractive now that she's all corpse-ified and gross." Hee!
- River does her accent trick for the first time.
"Safe" (104): In which Shepherd Book is shot and Simon (and River) Tam are kidnapped.
Much more to my taste, brisk and focusing on more interesting relationships. Simon and River have some great sibling moments, like the bratty bit with the non-poisoned berries, and River's sorrow about the costs of her condition (and I do not, do not, want to hear speculation about Simon/River, as I have seen occasionally elsewhere, because YUCK). Plus a mystery regarding Book, and more snarky dialogue (black-market beagles; sanguine; and "morbid and creepifying"—that like "corpse-ified"?).
It's interesting to read the shooting scripts; small things get trimmed or changed every episode, but this one had a different teaser, a scene with Simon and his parents after River had already left for the Academy. The aired version is better. The post-bail confrontation with his father in the script is also somewhat different, possibly trimmed to add more to the rescue? The great Mal-Zoe exchange "Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?" / "Big damn heroes, sir." line isn't in the script.
Next up, "Our Mrs Reynolds" and "Jaynestown" (the idea of the latter does not thrill me, I have to say).